Stocks Close Higher for Sixth Session in a Row

Stocks closed higher Tuesday, the sixth straight session of gains, as investors focused on earnings and shrugged off a downgrade on Portugal.

It was the market's first six-day winning streak since late April and follows five straight days of declines.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up about 150 points, or 1.4 percent, led by Caterpillar , JPMorgan and American Express .

The Nasdaq gained nearly 2 percent, while the S&P 500 climbed 1.5 percent.

The Dow and Nasdaq are now up 7.3 percentover the past six sessions. The S&P 500 also is up 7.3 percent, its best six-day winning streak in over seven years.

The CBOE volatility index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell more than 4 percent to near 23.

Some pros said markets look promising over the short term, but warned that crosswinds such as government debt, financial reform and regulatory issues may cause investors and traders to pull back.

Experts are also concerned that bullish momentum may be fading as trading volume continues to slide. Daily volume on the NYSE fell to a six-month low on Monday.

“I think we’re going to trade in a range,” Tommy Williams, president of Williams Financial Advisors, told CNBC. “But right now, in the short-term, [the market] looks really exciting.”

Alcoa rose more than 1 percent after the aluminum maker beat earnings expectations on Monday and raised its forecastfor growth in global aluminum demand for this year to 12 percent from 10 percent.

In addition, CSX rose after the railroad operator also delivered strong results, an encouraging sign for earnings season.

Apple was among the few decliners after Consumer Reports questioned the company's explanation of the glitch with its new iPhone 4 and said it can't recommend the product.

In the day's economic news, a government data showed that US job openings slipped in May, but the hiring rate climbed to its highest level in nearly two years.

Meanwhile, another survey showed that small businesses grew more pessimistic about their economic outlookin June, according to the National Federal of Independent Businesses.

Intel shares rose ahead of its earnings. After the bell, the computer chip maker reported better than expected results and gave a forecast for the current quarter that also beat expectations.

Reports are due out later in the week from Google , Bank of America , Citigroup and GE .

Wells Fargo lowered their estimates on Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley , citing weaker than anticipated trading volumes and new issue activity in June. Both firms are scheduled to report earnings next week.

BP shares fell as the oil giant prepared test a new containment cap for the massive Gulf oil spill, and the Financial Times is reporting that the costs of dealing with the spill will cut BP's tax bill by $10 billion over four years.

Oil prices rose above $76 a barrelas rising equities markets helped traders shrug off a report showing the pace of crude demand slowing next year.

Treasurys extended their losses after the latest round of 10-year note auctions. The $21 billion sale fetched a high yield of 3.119 percent and the bid-to-cover ratio was 3.09.

Auctions of 30-year bonds are expected on Wednesday.

Gold prices jumped nearly 2 percent to above $1,215 an ounce while the euro hit a two-month high against the dollar.

European stocks touched a three-week closing high, showing little reaction after Moody's cut Portugal's rating by two notches to A1. Market pros said investors are increasingly believing that the chance of default is slim.

US trade deficit widened unexpectedlyin May, led by a big jump in Chinese imports that helped overpower the best month for US exports since September 2008. A jump in both imports and exports is an indication that the economy is growing.

This Week:

TUESDAY: Treasury budget; Earnings from Intel, Yum
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps; Government report on retail sales; import/export prices; business inventories; Fed minutes
THURSDAY: PPI; Empire State survey; weekly jobless claims; industrial production; Philly Fed survey; Yellen nomination hearing; Fed's Lacker speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan, Novartis, Google and AMD
FRIDAY: CPI; consumer sentiment; Earnings from Bank of America, Citigroup, GE and Gannett

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